Cello part from The Star Spangled Banner (Ab) (for String Quartet)

Composer
John Stafford Smith
Duration
1 minute
Genre
Classical music and World music
Other parts

"In 1766, a London society of amateur musicians, the Anacreontic Society, commissioned a young church musician, John Stafford Smith, to compose music for material written by its president, Ralph Tomlinson, ’Anacreon in Heav’n.’ First published in England, the tune appeared in North America before the end of the eighteenth century where, as often happened, new lyrics – including ’Adams and Liberty’ and ’Jefferson and Liberty’ – were written….

"On September 14, 1814, while detained aboard a British ship during the bombardment of Ft. McHenry, Francis Scott Key witnessed at dawn the failure of the British attempt to take Baltimore. Based on this experience, he wrote a poem that poses the question ’Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave?’ Almost immediately Key’s poem was published and wedded to the tune of the ’Anacreontic Song.’"

Although in use by the U.S. Navy since 1889 for all flag raisings, "The Star Spangled Banner" officially became the National Anthem of the United States on March 3, 1931.

Quoted and paraphrased material above is from Dr. William Lichtwanger: "The Music of ’The Star Spangled Banner’: from Ludgutt Hill to Capitol Hill", Library of Congress Quarterly Journal, xxxiv/3 (1977)

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